I admit, I am not one for moving.
Anyone you ask in my life can tell you a fact: I tend to be lazy.
I once asked my friend, “Which do you think is my worst deadly sin of the 7? Sloth or gluttony?” She laughed out loud and said, “Jaymie, you are too lazy to get out of bed to make yourself something to eat!”
Fine. But why does that have to define me? I let it.
I cannot recall the first time I was called lazy. I accept it as a part of me. I would bet that you cannot recall the first time someone called you a negative word you now use to define yourself by.
Even something that seems to not be negative, like “logical” – but if taken to an extreme can be harmful to who you are.
The less I think about being lazy, the less lazy I am. I am not sure how the other ones work – I would guess overeater and such are different. But laziness begets laziness. I think of Relient K’s lyric, “The double-edged sword. Of being lazy and being bored. It just goes on and on and on”. It becomes my own choice to be lazy. Sure, it takes self-discipline. But what if I started telling myself “I have SO much self-discipline! I just cannot TAKE how much self-discipline I have!” (without sarcasm) instead of “I’m SOOO LAZY. I do NOT want to get out of bed because I just am so stinking lazy!”
The truth is that it is hard for me to tell myself that because it feels like a big fat lie. But when you start to hear something overtime – you believe it. That is most likely why I became so lazy. I started to believe I was lazy because of one day I felt lazy and identified myself as such. The following story is why I think the whole mindset idea works.
I was once talking about my life to a pastor who did not know me very well yet. After we talked, he told me I was “optimistic” and saw the good things out of the bad. It delighted me. I had never heard that. I started, naturally, to see things on the brighter side. For a few days. I had a renewed hope in life because I was simply seeing things for the good and not just the bad. Then I texted my close friend and told her that he called me optimistic. She texted back, “Lol. Well you’re not”. To say the least, my spirit felt crushed. I was completely devastated that the “truth” was set free. One of my closest friends surely knew me a lot better than this pastor. And the more I thought about it, I realized she was right. Before he called me optimistic, I was not. I always saw the bad in people and in life.
But I COULD be optimistic. Clearly. Was I just the victim of self-fulfilling prophecies of my life forever? No. Maybe. But. Was I optimistic or pessimistic? Which one?
Why would that define me?
I have talked about my definition before. I am, simply put, a child of God. That is all. I am nothing less. And on my own, I am nothing at all. But I am not on my own.
Eminem once rapped, “My whole life I was made to believe I was sick when I wasn’t. But I grew up, now I grew up, that makes you sick to your stomach, doesn’t it?” I find… biblical wisdom… in this rap lyric. He meant he physically grew up and realized his mother was lying about a sickness. But think about Paul saying what he did in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” He talks compares spiritually growing up. Let’s combine the two, shall we?
A popular phrase in Nigerian churches is “Satan is a liar”. I heard it countless times. When you are a child – before you come to Christ and during those “baby stages” – we believe many lies Satan has taught us through society, poor family structures or negative friends. For Eminem’s song, his mother told him that he was sick so she could get government aid. Then when he grew up, he realized he wasn’t sick. I bet he had so many times that he FELT sick or really believed he was sick from lies. Is that not what negative definitions are? Sicknesses? “A spirit of laziness” is nothing more than a sickness because it deters my relationship with God the Father and His will for the kingdom. Having the renewed heart that Christ gave me, I cannot be the sloth Proverbs warns us about. When I am growing in Christ, the truth is spitting itself in my face. “You are not lazy. You are redeemed”. Whatever negative thing you believe about yourself that is not true… you are redeemed!
Yes, you will have to actively work against it. I will need to build self-discipline the one way you can – just doing it.
But truth be told, we are redeemed!
(And that should make Satan sick to his stomach, doesn’t it?).